Help me name some international baseball teams
October 14, 2020 4:50 PM   Subscribe

Thinking about how the US baseball championship is in no way a World Series - we don't even play Japan. And that India or Australia might actually like baseball if they tried it. So help me name teams around the globe, guidelines inside.

For those who are unfamiliar with baseball teams and their naming conventions:

1) teams are usually City teams, rather than a Region or Province, although the team can 'represent' a region or even a whole State. For example there's only enough support for one team in the area, so everyone in both El Salvador and Guatemala roots for the Guatemala City Quetzals.

2) names are often for locally famous professions, wildlife, landmarks, or even puns associated with that city or its inhabitants. So the Vancouver Orcas, the Munich Braumeisters, the Cardiff Giants.

3) any little details about logos, fan traditions, etc.
The Darwin Salties, logo of a saltwater crocodile catching a ball in its jaws. Any ticket holder who shows up at the gate wearing Crocs with googly eyes stuck on gets entered in a raffle for a full set of team kit - cap, togs, glove, team-autographed ball.

The Sterling Silvers, in their grey uniforms with the reflective stripe down each arm and leg, are not to be confused with the Stirling Castles, who have more of a stone wall motif.

Boy, you've never heard an enthusiastic crowd until you've been in the bowl of the stadium carved out of the red rocks for the Coober Peedy Opals. When they play their Oceanic League rivals, the Bangkok Elephants? and you get 25 thousand people aggro-chanting Waltzing Matilda at once, and stomping in time? Wow.

Here's what we came up with so far, besides the ones above:
(Some of these are jokes, please improve if not funny)
Santiago Condors
Lima Llamas
Santa Rosa Gauchos
Sao Paolo is so big it should have two teams: the Samba and another one?

the Toledo Espadas
Sevilla Picadors
Paris has two, Les Arches and Le Tricolor
Die Wolfsburg Mechanikers
Krakow Dragons
Katowice Tygiels (Crucibles)
Bologna Professori
Firenze Principi
Need more European cities

Edinburgh Unicorns
Glasgow Tartans
the Lincoln Greens
the Devon Creamers
Clapham Thunder (they play AC/DC's Thunderstruck as hype music)
Penzance Pirates
Belfast Red Gloves
The Limerick Rakes
Newcastle Colliers (mascot is a a Bob the Builder with a headlamp and a baseball-bat pick, who hands out sweets to the kiddos)

I've got almost nothing for Africa.
Cairo Sphinx? Addis Ababa Emperors?
Who plays for Lagos? Nairobi? Kinshasa? Johannesburg?

India, too (for some reason I think India might really like baseball? or would it distract from cricket?)
But all I've got is the Mumbai Pearls.
Hyderabad? Kolkata? Bangalore?

Japan is of course covered, but Asia's got too many blanks as well.
the Hanoi Gold Stars?
Who plays in Busan? Singapore? Taipei? Chengdu?

Oz has the Salties, and the Opals already.
Who else? the Cairns Yachtsmen? Perth Black Swans?
Ballarat Dropbears? Canberra Bureaucrats?
posted by bartleby to Human Relations (16 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
My old fantasy football team was the Reykjavik Hot Springs.
posted by Sauce Trough at 6:49 PM on October 14 [3 favorites]

Singapore Merlions
posted by TWinbrook8 at 7:09 PM on October 14 [1 favorite]

This makes me really happy. Making up fake teams has been a hobby of mine since elementary school, although I generally do (American) football.

Bears, for either Bern (my preference) or Berlin
Vikings - take your pick of Scandinavian cities
Rome Cardinals, nice wordplay
Transylvania Vampires
Athens Hoplites
Zurich Bankers lol
Antwerp Diamonds
Lisbon Earthquakes

Lagos Oilers
Accra Black Stars (stolen from soccer, but pretty cool)
Monrovia Freemen
Mogadishu Pirates - not terribly flattering, but hey, lean into it
Cairo would be the Pharaohs, wouldn’t they?
There are enough charismatic megafauna to make something good, although I don’t know the appropriate ranges.

South America:
Punts Arenas Penguins - you thought it was hard to get free agents to go to Montreal?

I feel like you could get something from combining “Sox” with the “color revolutions”.
posted by kevinbelt at 7:20 PM on October 14 [1 favorite]

There is already the World Baseball Classic

Australia has baseball. MLB has even played games there.

India in fact does not like baseball. See that somewhat terrible Jon Hamm Disney movie for reference.
posted by sideshow at 7:48 PM on October 14 [1 favorite]

Nah, Pearls has a feminine connotation that wouldn't work for a team.

Mumbai Lions/Tigers
Delhi Dynamite
Chennai Superstars (a riff on actor 'Superstar' Rajnikanth)
Kolkata Kings / BC Bangla
Hyderabad Hitters
posted by Tamanna at 7:50 PM on October 14 [1 favorite]

You're starting from some faulty assumptions about who does and does not already play baseball and how they name their teams.

Baseball is quite popular in Korea, though the naming conventions there do not fit your personal stipulations. The Busan team is the Lotte Giants, named after the corporation that owns that team, and nobody refers to the teams by their cities of residence; this is true of nine out of the ten KBO League teams. Personally, I root for the Doosan Bears, though most of my husband's family are SK Wyverns fans.

Baseball is also popular enough to sustain a league in Taiwan, if smaller (the CBPL). The CBPL has four teams, and their Taipei-based team is the Fubon Guardians. Like Korea and Japan, the teams are named by and after the corporations who own them.
posted by Pandora Kouti at 8:01 PM on October 14 [6 favorites]

sideshow and Pandora Kouti have a point. Perhaps I should have not used baseball, implying that people do or do not or should or should not already enjoy / despise the sport already.

Pandora's insight reveals the assumption behind my question, though. The difference between corporate-identity and metropolitan-identity baseball is a big one. I was being shortsighted in thinking of all baseball as inter-urban regional competition. But that's not how everyone plays it.

So restated perhaps?
If there was a new Global Sports League, where you get to start from scratch, and the competitors were cities and metropolitan areas, not nation states (not Brazil vs. Germany in the World Cup, but Medellin vs. Kuala Lumpur in whatever-this-is)...
What's a fun name for your city's new team?
Peacocks? Pipefitters? Wombats? Horse-tamers?

At the train station, would you spot someone from your home region, by the snarling langoustine on their shirt? A vanilla orchid? A scorpion with wrenches for claws? A specific purple stripe pattern that only means something if you're from there?
posted by bartleby at 8:28 PM on October 14

If San Diego has the Padres, then their cross-border rivals just have to be the Tijuana Tías.

FWIW, the actual Guadalajara baseball team is the Charros de Jalisco, which is pretty much perfect. (A charro is a Mexican horseman who wears an outfit that is probably more familiar outside of Mexico as mariachi clothing.)
posted by migrantology at 9:00 PM on October 14 [1 favorite]

Not Tias. The counterpart to Padres would be Las Monjas, surely?
But sign me up for tickets to a Soldaderas vs Adelitas playoff.
posted by bartleby at 9:47 PM on October 14

The Vienna Wolfgang (or the Vienna Secessions)
The Buda Bases vs the Pest Balls
The Tripoli Triple Players
The Napoli Red Sauce (red sauce, red sox, get it?......)

(As an aside, the joke going around Seattle is that the new hockey team should have been named the Seattle Freeze.)
posted by Corduroy at 10:20 PM on October 14 [1 favorite]

Maybe not Belfast Red Gloves – I know you went by the red hand of Ulster, and Wikipedia says it’s a cross-cultural symbol, but anything that might play into sectarianism in sports is a no-no in my book. There might be other places in the world that have similar taboos.
posted by macdara at 4:08 AM on October 15 [1 favorite]

I don’t think the intention was to explore the ways baseball (or any sport) differs from one culture to another. Otherwise, half the teams in Europe would just be [City Name] B.C. The idea, as I saw it, was a fairly lighthearted attempt at applying U.S. naming conventions to non-U.S. cities. Like, if the Montreal Expos franchise had moved to Buenos Aires instead of Washington, what team name would they have adopted? How sports teams are actually named isn’t really a consideration here.
posted by kevinbelt at 4:26 AM on October 15 [1 favorite]

Not Tias. The counterpart to Padres would be Las Monjas yt , surely?

You're missing the forest for the trees. Just as the Padres are named after the mythical founders of the city (missionaries who existed, but...other people were already living there), Tijuana was supposedly founded by a mestiza named Tía Juana. The story is apocryphal but regularly repeated locally.

Plus every Mexican has a million tías. Can you imagine a non-racist version of the Tomahawk Chop where a full crowd waves around their chanclas?
posted by migrantology at 5:00 AM on October 15 [3 favorites]

This thread seems really weird. At the very best it’s pure chatfilter. Here’s the actual names of the actual baseball teams in the actual country of Ireland. Please note that the Belfast team are the Belfast Buccaneers. That red glove crack can... get rekt.
posted by J.R. Hartley at 6:11 AM on October 15 [1 favorite]

migrantology, I did not know that!
But let me tell you about the Copa de la Diversion, which has the Durham Cervezas, Corpus Christi Raspas, and the San Antonio Flying Chanclas.
posted by bartleby at 10:32 AM on October 15

For a grade 13 economics project, we had to bring a baseball team to London Ontario. I was really pushing my group to locate our stadium in Arva (a hamlet just outside the city), and name the team after the most widely known business, but alas, they opted for the London Leopards instead of the much more iconic Arva Millers.
posted by Chuckles McLaughy du Haha, the depressed clown at 12:28 PM on October 15 [1 favorite]

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